Chemical Resistance

Definition - What does Chemical Resistance mean?

Chemical resistance is the strength of a material to protect against chemical attack or solvent reaction. It is the opposite of chemical reactivity. It determines a material’s resistivity to corrosive environments.

Chemical resistance normally describes to what extent a material can maintain its resistance to chemicals. A chemical resistance chart may be used to see the relative resistance of materials. Thermoplastics are suitable to use in many industrial process applications due to their high resistance to many chemicals.

Corrosionpedia explains Chemical Resistance

Chemical resistance is the ability of a material to withstand chemical attack. A material with high chemical resistance, therefore, has less chance of corrosion. Materials with high chemical resistance are generally regarded as corrosion-resistant materials due to their inertness to chemical attack.

A material with low chemical resistance generally results in swelling or softening of the material, hence the material loses serviceability. When testing a material for chemical resistance, important factors include:

  • Temperature
  • Concentration of chemicals
  • Exposure duration
  • Mechanical load

In a chemical resistance test, alumina and silicon carbide possess higher levels of resistance to chemicals, whereas stainless steel, zirconia and silicon possess lower levels of resistance to chemicals. Stainless steel is soluble in hydrochloric acid, whereas zirconia and silicon nitride are soluble in hydrofluoric acid, thereby they exhibit higher levels of solubility and lower levels of chemical resistance.

Chemically resistant products are necessary in varied applications and environmental conditions. In industry, corrosive chemicals are not only used, but also water sometimes causes corrosion to many materials. Therefore, use of products with high chemical resistance in adverse environments provides benefits in increasing industries' effectiveness and productivity while lowering the need for parts replacement. It ultimately makes the process more cost-effective.

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